Guest Post by Gordon Feller
Gordon Feller, director of the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) Public Sector Practice, Urban Innovations
As we approach the Urban Land Institute’s Spring Meeting in Charlotte this week, it is exciting to anticipate the innovative sustainability trends that will be discussed by the industry’s brightest players. Nestled in the heart of North Carolina’s connected community effort, Envision Charlotte, the ULI Spring Meeting will highlight the strides the industry is making in reducing energy in commercial buildings. Specifically, Cisco will represent how an underlying network platform can be a drive economic, social and environmental sustainability in Smart+Connected Communities. While reducing energy and improving efficiency remains top-of-mind, I believe the following key topics will share a portion of the spotlight at the meeting:
• Cost-savings through connected buildings and communities: In these economic times, the mantra of “you must spend in order to save” needs to be addressed to offer a more holistic and realistic approach to a smart investment strategy. This strategy should include looking at both short-term and long-term return on investment.
• Making Charlotte a model of sustainability: In a session moderated by Bob Baldwin, Sustainable Development Council’s vice chair, I will be specifically discussing how Envision Charlotte’s unique public-private collaboration spearheaded by Duke Energy, financial institutions and local government is leading Charlotte to become a global model for environmental sustainability and measurable community results.
• Definition of communities: As we look to Envision Charlotte as an example of a connected urban core, it is important to remember that we can define what a community means. Perhaps a Smart+Connected Community is an air force base or a college campus. Real change can occur when we realize our definition of community to not limited to square miles in an urban city. As the part of Cisco’s role as Technology Advisor and Sponsor of ULI’s Greenprint Foundation, I Iook forward to discussing this key trend and others during Greenprint’s board member meeting. Cisco will also continue this conversation at the ULI Fall Meeting in Denver and at the Meeting of the Minds in San Francisco later this year.
If you are planning to attend the ULI Spring Meeting, don’t forget to attend James E. Rogers’, president and CEO of Duke Energy, keynote address on May 9th at 4:30 p.m. As part of the keynote presentation, Joe O’Connor, senior executive director, Smart+Connected Communities, will be sitting on a panel led by James to discuss the relationship between energy, land use and real estate development. Be sure to visit our blog for a recap of this panel session as well as our other insights from our attendance at the Spring meeting. You can also learn more about Cisco’s participation at the ULI Spring Meeting by visiting: www.ciscouli.com.
Today, Cisco announced its intent to acquire privately held Truviso. Based in Foster City, Calif., Truviso provides scalable, real-time network data analysis and reporting software. Together, Cisco and Truviso will provide instant access and visibility into network use and services to help increase operational efficiencies and drive new revenue streams for customers.
With the growth of end-user devices and applications and in turn the proliferation of large amounts of network data, service provider and enterprise customers are looking for ways to better understand usage and differentiate their service offerings. Truviso’s continuous query technology allows companies to get detailed information and visibility of network use and services in real-time, with its analyze-first, store-later capability.
The Truviso acquisition reinforces Cisco’s commitment to delivering intelligent networks and supports our five foundational priorities by providing differentiated solutions with streaming real-time analytics for the core, data center, virtualization, collaboration, and video.
As we continue to use all of Cisco’s tools to drive innovation, acquisitions such as Truviso will help bring top talent, new technology, and business models into Cisco. M&A remains a key part of our build, buy, and partner innovation framework and supports our strategy of providing best-in-class solutions for our customers. The Truviso acquisition is well-aligned to our strategic goals of building software platforms and driving business and technology architectures. I am very excited to welcome the world-class team from Truviso to the Cisco family.
Tags: acquisitions, truviso
Bringing You the Workplace Revolution
Kids get sick, cars malfunction, pipes break, bad-hair days occur, and the list goes on. Life simply happens. But thanks to technology, it no longer means the end of the world for that work day. With a rapidly growing change in workplace ideologies like BYOD (Bring your own device), and technologies like TelePresence, Jabber and WebEx, I have the ability to work almost anywhere at any time, even if things prevent me from getting to the office that day.
Given the explosion of social media technologies in the past few years, it only makes sense that BYOD is taking off like a firestorm—even among small businesses—as covered in two recent blogs, ‘Business Ready: On the Go and in the Clouds’ and ‘Supersizing Your Small Business.’ In fact, the Cisco Connected World Technology Report found that two of five college students and young employees would accept a lower-paying job that had more flexibility with BYOD, social media access, and mobility than a higher-paying job with less flexibility. So what about those at companies with very little flexibility when it comes to devices? Seven out of ten employees knowingly break IT policies on a regular basis, and three out of five believe that it is not their responsibility to keep the company secure. The bottom line: the workplace revolution is happening (and it’s being video streamed on your mobile device).
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Tags: Bring your Own Device (BYOD), Cloud Computing, smb, social media, TelePresence, WebEX
Inspiration: We all lose it from time to time. Sometimes we find it again in the strangest places, and other times, in the most obvious.
How many times have you gone into a meeting expecting minimal outcome only to have the light bulb go off after someone’s comment? Today, we have access to some of the brightest minds in the world thanks to collaboration technologies and virtual networking. And as a result, the spark can come from anywhere.
Take for example the Bloodhound SCC (Super Sonic Car). The ‘engineering adventure for the 21st century’ aims to not only build a car that can go 1050 mph, but to inspire and teach students about engineering, math, science, and technology. By using Cisco networking and video services, they are able to reach out to schools all over the world and inspire the engineers and scientists of the future. This is much more exciting than local robotic car racing competitions held in the engineering schools during my university days. And when a problem needs to be solved, engineers and scientists can come from anywhere—virtually—to provide different viewpoints to help troubleshoot.
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Tags: innovation, networking, video
Brand journalism. Depending on what hat you wear in your organization, you’ve likely heard, read or even followed the buzz around this relatively new trend in communications. Maybe, you’ve even tried it.
“At it’s most basic level, brand journalism involves honest brand storytelling that invites audiences to participate” says Kyle Monson, former tech journalist and editor at PC Magazine in a his article Dispelling the Darkness with Brand Journalism.
While brand journalism, or brand content as some prefer to call it, is talked about quite a bit, it is not as easy to find it in practice. I know this, because I lead the content efforts on The Network, Cisco’s technology news site.
Several months ago we started “experimenting” with brand journalism (although, at the time, we really didn’t call it that…we just saw an opportunity and went for it). We began working with a team of seasoned journalists, names you no doubt know and have likely followed for years if you are a true technology enthusiast. Our expectations of the writers were, and still are, very simple: pitch and produce good, solid stories around topics that we, Cisco, are interested in such as collaboration, video, core networking, cloud, mobility and security to name a few. There is no requirement to mention Cisco at all, in fact a vast majority of the stories don’t…and that is just fine. Our goal is to lead the conversation, to spark engagement, to identify trends relevant to our business and the industry.
So that is the “brand storytelling” Monson refers to. As for the stories inviting “audiences to participate,” that is where sitting on the social media team really kicks this effort into high gear. Not only is social woven into everything we produce from commenting to social actions…we encourage our fans to take our content, republish it, share it…all we ask is that we’re credited. I’m telling you…this is the best deal around. We are offering FREE content from award winning, noted journalists on topics you are interested in. It might very well be the best deal of the decade…in my humble opinion.
I don’t think it can be stressed enough, this is a very different way of communicating at the corporate level. It looks and feels different and, to be very honest, we as a team get challenged, at times, on our approach by our own peers as they try to understand this new way of communicating. But, to me, this is where it gets exciting. This is where the real innovation starts to happen. I’m reminded of a conversation I had recently with a senior engineer at Cisco. He told me, if you have an idea and everyone around you supports it right off the bat, then it is not innovative…it is too obvious and likely has already been done, or soon will be. Alternatively, if you have an idea that causes a bit of disruption and you get some push back…you are likely onto something.
I’d say The Network is onto something. We’ve designed a very social site chock-full of solid content that is aligned with the company’s overall communications goals. While still in the experimental stage, we have gained recognition in the industry, most notably 2012 Webby Awards Official Honoree and Best Online Newsroom of the Year (Silver) 2011 Bulldog Digital/Social PR Awards. And, it’s not just Marketing and Communications pros taking note, top journalism schools are asking to learn more about what we are doing as they prepare their students for an industry in flux.
See for yourself what we are doing. Visit The Network. Read our stories. And better yet, Take. Share. Engage. The stories are there for the taking.
Tags: brand journalism, corporate newsroom, innovation, social media